Fall 2018 Update from the National Office of Recruitment and Admissions - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Fall 2018 Update from the National Office of Recruitment and Admissions

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The National Office of Recruitment and Admissions (NORA) successfully completed and fulfilled its five-year Strategic Plan. Among the many goals achieved in our five-year plan, the NORA Team is celebrating the following: 

  • NORA has achieved an exponential increase in the numbers of inquiries into all HUC-JIR programs; from 663 in 2013 to more than 4,500 in 2018. Of great significance is the increase in the number, quality, and diversity of enrolled students in most core programs.
  • In 2018 NORA recruited and enrolled the second largest Year-In-Israel class in 11 years: 40 rabbinical students, ten cantorial students, and three Masters degree education students. This represents a significant increase in enrollment and in Year-In-Israel cohort size.
  • Increasing diversity in the student body to more fully represent the diversity in the North American Jewish community. Four significant changes indicate success in increasing diversity: First, 27% of the incoming class currently have or have had primary affiliations outside of the Reform Movement, a significant increase from 8% last year. In addition, this year’s incoming class expresses gender identity in a variety of ways, and third, this class represents a more experienced incoming glass. Many more of these students, 69.2%, have more than one year of post-college experience; while only 30.8% enrolled within one year of undergrad. Lastly, recent classes have embodied a diversity of ethnic and racial backgrounds as well as a broader variety of religious backgrounds among their families of origin. 
  • Launching a new HUC-JIR Youth Professionals Training Program throughout the year in Cincinnati in partnership with the Cincinnati Jewish Teen Collective engaging Cincinnati area youth professionals in deep learning and inspiring seminars and mentorship relationships. 
  • Developing regional and national partnerships with BBYO, International Hillel, Moishe House, Tybal Gatherings and other organizations with shared leadership goal.
  • Alumni partnerships: Establishing new alumni recruitment engagement initiatives and recognition awards; social media campaigns including Vlog B’Omer and #HowUCamp
  • Securing new funding for a holistic approach to recruitment, admissions and placement. These funds help to support the basic functioning of NORA and partially compensate for the reduction of funding to NORA from TJF.  In particular, Rabbi Sabath helped to secure a prestigious  Peter J. Rubinstein Fund $1.4 million dollar grant from Central Synagogue to Hillel and HUC-JIR allowing NORA to continue to recruit on crucial college campuses, place HUC-JIR student interns in Hillels and on campus, and place additional HUC-JIR graduates in professional Hillel positions throughout North America.
  • Summer recruitment: The NORA Team and its student interns have spent the summer months engaging not only in intensive recruitment at nearly 50 Summer camps and programs
  • College campus recruitment: The NORA Team and its student interns recruit at over 60 different colleges and universities during the academic year. 


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu